ICC Help: shatranj
Shatranj is the way chess was played around 1500 A.D., long before the game took the form we know today. For details on the historic development, see help Shatranj2.
Shatranj differs from modern chess in the following respects. In place of the bishop, Shatranj has an 'alfil' (elephant). Like a bishop, an alfil moves along diagonals; however, it must move exactly two squares away. It can jump over other pieces like a knight. Instead of the mighty queen, there is a 'fers' (also called counselor or general). A fers can only move one square diagonally. Pawns are not allowed to make a double-step on their first move. When a pawn reaches the last rank, it promotes, but only to a fers. The king starts on the d-file rather than the e-file in the initial position. Castling is not allowed. The game is won if you (a) checkmate your opponent, (b) stalemate your opponent, or (c) take the last non-king piece of your opponent. In this last case (bare king), your opponent is allowed to make one more move and, if he can take your last non-king piece as well, the game is drawn.
In most clients the standard chess pieces will be used to represent Shatranj pieces, with the bishop and queen standing for the alfil and fers respectively. Shatranj is wild 28, so to start a game of Shatranj with someone, you could type "match someone 10 10 w28" or seek a game as with "seek 10 10 w28". You can also use BlitzIn's Match... or Seek... dialog windows and select Shatranj from the popup menu there.